“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” –H.G. Wells
Pondering the interesting phenomena of New Year’s resolutions, I was surprised to discover that only 45% of Americans regularly participate in this annual ritual. Considering the depressing statistic that a mere 8% of resolved people actually succeed, I am now surprised the number of participants isn’t far lower. I mean, really, who likes to fail, right?
Yet, on a positive note, people who actively make resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than people who don’t make resolutions.
So how can we make reasonable goals and then actually achieve them? Well, there are plenty of blog posts every year that will give you step by step instructions on how to be successful. I’ve read more than a few myself. But one thing I notice lacking from most of them is one small, yet vital piece.
In order to succeed, you must plan to fail.
Yup, you read that right. Allow me to elaborate a bit. By the time two weeks have passed, one fourth of people who made resolutions will have dropped them. At the six month mark, a whopping 64% will have left the race completely. Why?
I would suggest that this is, in large part, due to the cultural mindset we have today. We despise failure. We see it as a negative, rather than a natural part of learning and growing. When we fall, when we fail, we then despise ourselves. We run off and hide, tail between our legs, soothing our shame with ice cream and Netflix binges.
Fear holds us hostage. We begin to identify with our failure and avoid trying again. After all, we reason, haven’t we already proved that this goal is beyond our grasp?
My friends, this should not be! How quickly we forget who we are! How easily we allow our eyes to be blinded to the reality of our unshakable position and victory in Christ.
“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10, HCSB
“I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13, HCSB
“Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus…” Romans 8:1, HCSB
Our Father knew us, his children, before he even laid the foundation of the world. He has a plan for each of us, and that plan does not include us cowering in self-condemnation or stagnating in fear.
What dreams, goals, or resolutions do you feel the Lord would have you reach for? Then go for it and know that there will be days where you will fail. Just factor that reality into your plan now. Falling down is necessary to grow and learn. Do better the next day, and if you blow it again, stand back up, dust yourself off, and get back on that horse! The only true failure is giving up entirely.
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” –Denis Waitley
We were not created to say nothing, to do nothing, to be nothing. Rather, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. And remember, there is no condemnation. Guilt has no place here; guilt will always hinder our efforts, it will never help us succeed. We won’t reach our goals perfectly or with ease, but we can do it! Let us carry ourselves as daughters of the King, beloved and empowered!
Your turn! What dream or goal have you abandoned that could be picked up again today? Is there something you’d like to achieve that you’re afraid to reach for? No matter how big or small.
Connect With Rebeca Jones
few of my favorite posts from my blog, Building Standing Stones:
On our true identity:
Come on over and visit me at Building Standing Stones. Hope to see you there!